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New Zealand dollar little changed ahead of OCR review

Thursday 27th October 2011

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The New Zealand dollar was little changed from yesterday's close ahead of the Reserve Bank's review of interest rates at 9am today after gains in offshore trading were erased.

The kiwi dollar was at 79.51 U.S. cents at 8am from 79.57 US cents at 5pm yesterday. It fell from 79.84 cents to 79.20 cents between 3am and 5am.

The kiwi had risen close to 80 U.S. cents when the euro was weak but the euro turned around, said Alex Sinton, senior deal at ANZ New Zealand. "The euro has strengthened this morning. There are headlines about the European Financial Stability Facility having flexibility and being able to be leveraged," he said.

Still, as the New Zealand trading day geared up, a deal at the European summit on Wednesday evening European time was uncertain.

United Stocks gained after a report by AFP that China has agreed to invest in Europe's bailout fund but Bloomberg reported that talks with banks on bondholder losses as part of a second Greek bailout were deadlocked.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also continued to manage expectations lower. Sinton said a lot also depended on the political situation in Italy. He expected RBNZ governor Alan Bollard to comment on the uncertainties in the global economic situation at the official cash review.

Bollard is expected to keep the official cash rate at a record-low 2.5 percent. A soft consumer price index figure on Tuesday quashed fears inflation was creeping into the economy.

Bollard was forced to hold off removing the extra stimulus he added in March in response to the Christchurch earthquake after global financial markets slumped amid heightened fears of a second worldwide recession.

"There’s no need to rush for the RBNZ,” said Chris Tennent-Brown, FX economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. “The fundamentals suggest the New Zealand dollar should up above 80 US cents” but investor sentiment out of Europe is driving it around at the moment, he said.

Until something concrete comes out of the Group of 20 Nations’ summit on the weekend, sentiment will continue to drive currency markets, Tennent-Brown said. The kiwi was lower at 76.51 Australian cents from 76.78 cents yesterday.

It was little changed at 60.54 yen from 60.52 yen and was unchanged at 57.18 euro cents. It rose to 49.78 British pence from 49.68 pence yesterday. The trade-weighted index fell to 69.52 from 69.18.

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